The sense of bewilderment fans get as they glance at the teams’ roster and still see that iconic blocking icon and seven-year veteran receiver Michael Clayton is still a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is an understatement. Clayton after practice on Monday spoke to reporters and alluded to the fact that based on the business side of football he could be on the bubble.
“Business-wise, it could be,” Clayton said when asked if he was on the bubble. “But I know regardless of what happens, I’ll be on a team next year.”
The more interesting comment however, is the fact he still defers blame of his short comings on the situation revolving around the quarterback carousel last season. He also made claims to the affect the reason he’s still on the team is because he’s going to mentor both Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams the teams’ two newest additions at receiver.
“We had a lot of things going on last year,” Clayton said. “I would like to keep last year and let it be last year. We had a young quarterback come in half of the season who didn’t get any reps. We had an offensive coordinator who was fired and we were going week-by-week. The positive things we take from last year is that everybody still continued to work. We didn’t give up, regardless of the situation.”
“Finally, we drafted a receiver,” Clayton said. “I’ve been here a long time and we haven’t seen many guys drafted at receiver. I’m seven years in and at some point we’ve got to get the next guys in to be the young faces of this football team. I was fortunate to sign a new deal and I’m going to be here as long as they keep me. The work habits won’t change. It’s my job to make sure those guys are fully prepared and the best man is going to play.”
Eventually a man will look in the mirror and take ownership of his actions. Clearly that man is not Clayton. While he talks about last season, what about the previous seasons? Clayton’s been living off of past accolades for way too long and part of the reason the offense has been stagnant.
There is no way a player the ilk of Clayton should be anywhere near Benn or Williams especially as a mentor. Sure Clayton being on the roster is one thing, but to allow him to be in the rookie’s ear is not something that should be tolerated. What can Clayton offer other then blocking tips?